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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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against Poland, and their behaviour in the occupied part of that country.,
the extermination of the Polish Home Army, and the e purge ' which they
had undertaken, would be most harmful to Poland's cause. The Polish
question had become taboo in Britain or., rather, one aspect of it—namely,
the trampling underfoot of Poland's rights and Britain's continual agree-
ment to the increasing Soviet demands. Not immediately, but only five
weeks after the bargain made at Teheran on February 6., 1944, did
Churchill inform the Polish Premier of this ... He was to repeat in the
Commons on the 22nd that the British Government had decided to
support the Russians in their territorial demands for the c Curzon Line/
nothing less., therefore, than the equivalent to the tearing-up of the Anglo-
Polish Treaty of 1939. "Any new undertaking/' had run section three,
Article 6, of that Treaty, " which the Contracting Parties may enter into
in the future,, shall neither limit their obligations under the present
Agreement nor indirectly create new obligations between the Contracting
Party not participating in these undertakings and the third State
concerned."
The characteristics of Russian imperialism has always been to disguise
the most iniquitous of deeds under the cloak of legality. Each attempt
to deprive Poland of her territory or to extinguish her independence had
been represented as something undertaken in the interest of the Polish
people themselves. Catherine the Second had declared that she was
resolved to allow Poland " the means of procuring, without prejudice to
her liberty, a well-ordained and active form of government, of maintaining
herself in the active enjoyment of the same ..." The Tsarina had been
eager to preserve Poland ec from the dreadful consequences of internal
division " and to " rescue her from utter ruin/' but she had endeavoured
to persuade the Polish Parliament to vote for the cession of part of their
country to Russia. In 1793, the Russian troops had encircled the Polish
Parliament with this objective in view and diiected their guns on the
building and then—the Act of the Second Partition was read before a
completely silent audience. That Parliament is known in history as the
£ Dumb Parliament.' The Soviets endeavoured to give a similar appear-
ance of legality to all their annexations—the farce of the c plebiscites ' in
the Baltic States and Eastern Poland was a convincing example of this
peculiarity.
Nineteen forty-four was spent in endeavouring, through the medium
of the British, to gain this * legality ' by extracting an agreement to Mos-
cow's designs from the Polish Government. Churchill had no wish to
appear as an accomplice in the partition of the country of an ally and this
formal consent would at the same time relieve the conscience of Britain.
The Prime Minister therefore became the zealous advocate of Russia's
scheme.
Moscow,, still awaiting the surrender of the Poles, held up their
announcement and recognition of its rival governmental body for Poland.
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